I have been on the road with my sex ed van, Blanche, for 27 days now. I also just passed over 5,000 miles driven on this road trip so far!
A lot has happened since my last post, some of which has been documented on my Patreon (includes photos). For folks who want more updates and behind-the-scenes content from my adventures on the road as a sex edu-tainer, I have also been making little videos to share on Patreon and I published a secret patron only podcast episode with my best friend Amari Indigo.
Here are some of the major highlights/summaries from my trip to catch you up to date:
I have driven through 14 states (although, honestly, it feels like more): Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia, Missouri, and Kansas
I taught at the Central Ohio Perversion Excursion
I was reunited with my darling Amari Indigo for a few days in the Midwest and we caught up, created, and had a bunch of fun together
We were joined by my friend Eric in Ohio and all went to Cedar Point for a day of riding roller coasters
I visited Pittsburgh for the first time and loved it
I got to see everyone in my family and even got a tattoo with my older sister
I have many stories to tell and paragraphs to write about my adventures, especially at SGCC, but right now it’s time to get out on the road again. Today I’ll finally be getting back into the land of mountains and cannabis (hooray!) with a visit to Denver.
I did something WAY outside of my comfort zone and recorded a video of myself in the car yesterday while I was driving to John Day. It’s a little over 5 minutes of unedited dorky footage and I end it with singing a Rilo Kiley song a capella.
I always get really nervous about posting videos, which means I never do, but I decided I needed to get over that if I’m going to start “building my brand” more. So, I just said ‘fuck it’ and hit record even though I was sweaty and driving and not wearing makeup.
It’s on my Patreon right now for all to view, but future videos will be for Patrons only as a way of earning gas money to get me to Ohio to teach at the Central Ohio Perversion Excursion. A one time $5 contribution will get you daily videos along with other fun things (or for $10 you can make song suggestions and for $20 I’ll sing whatever you want and dedicate it to you).
My birthday was this week, and what I wanted for my birthday was for my sex-positive variety show + afterparty to go well. That meant a night the audience would enjoy and remember and, for me, high enough ticket sales so I could finally fix my sex ed mobile and get back out on the road to teach sex workshops and attend conferences.
The show was incredible (seriously, the performers were amazing) and I kicked ass at my standup comedy debut, but we fell short of our ticket sale goals. We had a Sunday night show the night after the World Naked Bike Ride, there were record high heats, and it was just Pride Weekend – not easy to compete with those things. So, while I am proud of the show and everything it brought to the community, the joy of the event unfortunately didn’t last long for me because of the impact it had on my bank account. It was a major bummer, especially since I was hoping to earn some of the $700 I need for van repairs before I can leave town.
This is going to start sounding like a sob story, if it hasn’t already, but hang with me (it gets more positive eventually).
On my actual birthday, I had one of my worst days in recent memory. It started with me being admitted to the hospital with a very painful autoimmune flare-up, and continued to get comically worse, until it ended with both of my dogs puking all over the house. When it rains it pours, and this time it poured vomit.
I was pretty ready to give up. It felt like rock bottom to me after one of the worst years of my life, in which I got divorced, sold my possessions and moved into an RV to travel the country only to have the RV break down on me, was crashed into by a hit and run driver that left me with medical bills and worsened my chronic pain condition, dealt with multiple mental health crises, and had my heart broken (again).
Pushing myself forward in a career where I was always supposed to be “on” – sexy and funny and charming and self-promoting, didn’t seem feasible any longer. I told myself that as much as I love the work I do, and as important as sex and consent education and patriarchy-smashing is to the world, it was time to either become an off the grid hermit or get a “normal person job” that paid the bills more consistently. Not making enough money each month has meant chronic stress, which certainly doesn’t help pain or mental illness or healing from grief. But when I told my best friends about my fears and plans, they all told me I was full of shit. I mean, they did it in the nicest way possible, but they still refused to believe “hermit” or a 9-5 job were my only options. They begged me to never be normal, and encouraged me to try a few more things before I gave up on my dreams. Most of them agreed I should set up a Patreon, so that’s what I did.
The life of a sex educator can be exciting and hot and rewarding and ridiculous, but it can also be challenging, exhausting, and like I’m always fighting “Imposter Syndrome.” Plus, it can be really financially unpredictable, like when colleges wait two months to send a check for a safer sex workshop, or frustrating when everyone asks for sex and relationship advice and expects it for free.
However, I love my job and am very passionate about my chosen career. I’m good at it, and people tell me frequently how much it means to them that I do this work. So, I really want to be able to keep teaching, writing, interviewing, and podcasting about sex, relationships, love, and intersectional feminism. I also want to start embracing my creativity and getting more in touch with the comedian/writer/storyteller I’ve always been. I know creating and performing, and vulnerably sharing those parts of myself, will help me heal. And I hear that’s something the world needs – more healed people to help heal others.
Whenever things get to the point where I feel hopeless and helpless, I admit, I wallow in it for a day or two (#Cancer). Then I try really hard to get out of my mopey crab shell and rise from the ashes like a glorious Phoenix of Sex Wizardy (because apparently mixing a bunch of half-assed metaphors and witchy imagery is how I get inspired). That’s what this Patreon is for me – an attempt at an self-inspiring rebirth – or at least a healing new chapter.
So, please, won’t you allow yourselves to be inspired too? Join my Patreon, get exclusive access to my intimate stories/projects/comedy/podcasts/ridiculous life + sex ed videos and advice, and feel good because you are making a huge difference in the life of an educator (who can then make a difference in the lives of others).
The monthly show I work hard on and that lights up my life – Whoopee! A Sex-Positive Variety Show – is moving to the beautiful spacious Bossanova Ballroom on June 25th! The only thing that makes me more excited than that is the fact that June’s show falls right between my birthday and the 30th birthday of my awesome stage manager, Lady Coquine.
This extra special Whoopee! Birthday Bash will be our biggest show yet – with over 10 sex-positive and body-positive acts, including burlesque, aerial, comedy, drag, fire dancing, sex-themed storytelling and more. It will also be followed by Kinky Karaoke (and probably even a karaoke dance party)!
There will be a giant raffle with free tickets for the whole audience, sex toys, free lube and prizes, plus even more perks (like $50 worth of sponsor goodies) with VIP seating.
Episode 13: Pegging On the thirteenth episode of Sex on the Brain, Amory Jane talks to sex educators, Reid Mihalko and Allison Moon! They dive deep into #buttstuff with a special focus on pegging, and share a lot of funny and intimate stories about their own anal experiences. This episode is extra humorous and as educational as a full pegging workshop! Highly recommended for anyone who wants to learn more about ass play, dildos, harnesses, and why the hell both Allison Moon and Amory Jane are into roleplaying as frat boys.
It is not yet a 100% done deal, but it is looking like I am going to be trading St. Edna the Sex Ed Mobile for a van. After getting multiple consultations, I’ve learned that a new engine for Edna would be $1200-1600, and I just don’t have that kind of money. As much as I don’t want to part with my baby RV, she’ll have a better life if she goes to a mechanic who knows how to get her running again and keep taking care of her. Besides, a van could be both my every day vehicle and a decent road trip mobile for when I go back out on tour (which I am hoping will happen in July).
I’m having lots of feelings about this, because getting Edna was a huge important chapter of my life and gave me freedom when I needed it most. Plus, the night she broke down was a night that has a lot of memories attached to it and marked the beginning of another chapter for me. So, saying goodbye to Edna feels more loaded than any other auto trade or sale I’ve ever done. Maybe I’m being too sentimental, but this feels like another significant marker in a year that has been filled with heartbreak, change, and learning to let go.
The sweet/good news is that the mechanic who will likely be getting Edna saw the bumper sticker on back and asked about it. So, I told him that I drove the country with Edna to teach sex education. He thought that was great, and he wants her to stay named Edna (which makes me feel a lot better about all of this, as stupid as that may sound). He also wants to leave the bumper sticker on and get a stack for his other cars, and he said it’ll help him talk to his kiddos easier about “the birds and the bees.”
About a third of my Facebook feed today is filled with #420 memes and statuses and another third is filled with people who are annoyed by people who are into weed.
For most of my life, I was in the latter group. Most stoners I knew growing up were trashy white boys who listened to Sublime, made jokes about Funyuns, and mocked me for being a straight A student. In my younger brain, I thought pretty much all stoners were lazy, and probably also smelled like skunk. However, after cannabis was legalized in Oregon, it was suggested I use some for my chronic pain, mood disorder, and nausea. So, I tried some. Sure enough, it made me feel a whole lot better.
I had been taking pills for pain, which sometimes made me feel like a zombie (and made my nausea worse). I used to drink booze multiple times a week to help with anxiety, but I’d feel terrible later, and it honestly made me way moodier overall. Discovering the healing that cannabis could offer me, and realizing I had no negative side effects the next day and I didn’t even have to smoke if I didn’t want to (hooray for edibles and oil!) was actually life-changing.
I also discovered other types of weed lovers too — high femmes, successful stoners, chronic pain warriors, cancer survivors, and everyday people who used it to help themselves feel better about their bodies, sex, stress, etc. Yes, there are still plenty of smelly slacker stoners out there, but I’ve grown to appreciate cannabis culture. I love that anywhere I go where people are smoking weed, they’ll invite me into their circle and share both their cannabis and their stories freely.
I love that when I’m high I am in love with myself and my brain and my body (which, when I am sober, I struggle to appreciate). I love that cannabis has helped me work through trauma without shutting down, helped me make new friends easily, and truly helped my career by allowing me to have less pain and anxiety so I can accomplish more. It’s also made me hear songs in brand new ways, taste foods more intensely, and helped me process two back to back heartbreaks that surely would have crushed me a few years ago.
So, yes, I recognize that this “holiday” is completely goofy and maybe even obnoxious to a bunch of folks. But for lots of us, it is a day to celebrate that we have a plant that helps us more easily handle all the bullshit life can throw our way. For me, I use cannabis not as a way to escape, but as a way to become more connected — to myself and to others. I use it to let my overactive and frequently worried mind have some moments of solace. I use it to zone in on relaxing and relieving parts of my body that are chronically tense or in pain. I use it as a social lubricant, a libido booster, and a creativity booster.
I am outraged that so many people, most especially POC, have been sent to prison (or worse) for buying, selling, or possessing weed. I am sad that cannabis is still not legal in many places where I know it would help many members of the population. I’m frustrated by restrictive laws and ridiculous punishments. I know I am lucky to live in Oregon and be able to travel easily to Washington, so that I can enjoy cannabis legally and safely. I wish and hope that one day everyone will have access if they need it. Until then, I’ll keep being a vocal and passionate supporter of cannabis rights, decriminalization, and reparations for communities that have been disproportionately affected by America’s War on Drugs.
To all who celebrate – whether you celebrate sincerely, humorously, with a heavy heart/conscious mind, or every damn day – Happy 420!
She Bop did an interview with me about Whoopee! A Sex-Positive Variety Show for their blog. If you want to know more about the origins of the show, what audience members can expect, and why the community needs a show like this one, check it out here!
Our next show is this Friday, April 21st at The Secret Society Ballroom. I encourage people to RSVP on Facebook and purchase tickets online in advance since we’ve been selling out. Tickets can be found here, and we offer both a general admission option and reserved seating VIP tickets. We’ll have incredible dancers, hilarious storytellers, sexy singers, a demo on roleplaying and much much more! For the full list of performers for Friday’s show, visit the new website I created for Whoopee! at whoopee.live
There will also be a Kinky Karaoke Afterparty this Friday, hosted by KJ Luke and yours truly (Amory Jane). It’ll be one part karaoke, one part kink demo, and 100% entertaining. Tickets to Whoopee! get you free admission to the after party, but if you have to work late that night, you’re always welcome to just join us for karaoke around 11 p.m. (and it only costs $3).
Can’t make it to April’s show? We’ll be having next month’s show at The Secret Society on May 21st. Tickets are already available and may be purchased here.
Finally, two more pieces of big news in the world of Whoopee!:
I have a stage manager now and she is already kicking ass and helping me take Whoopee! to a whole new level. With a background in theater, connections to many Portland performers and “theater kids,” and a strong commitment to sex-positive entertainment, Lady Coquine was the perfect fit for this show. I am so excited to have her on my team as both a stage manager and performer, and am also excited that when I asked her to send me a photo for the website, this is what I got back. Yes, I think we’ll be a terrific team. 😉
While we adore The Secret Society and think it is a wonderful venue, we are bummed that we’ve been having to turn people away at the last few shows due to being sold out. So, we’ve been searching for a larger venue that would be perfect for Whoopee!…and we finally confirmed one today. Starting in June, Whoopee! A Sex-Positive Variety Show will be at Portland’s famous BOSSANOVA BALLROOM! Bossanova is a big gorgeous historic venue with plenty of room for us to grow. They are one of the few venues in town that allows fire, aerial, and rigging, so we are absolutely thrilled at what that means for adding even more variety to our performances. Our first show at Bossanova will be on Sunday, June 25th and will also be a double birthday bash for late June babies – Lady Coquine and Amory Jane! Stay tuned to this page and/or follow us on Facebook for updates and announcements.
Hope to see a bunch of you in the audience or on the stage soon!
Our next episode, which will be on the topic of pegging and feature Allison Moon and Reid Mihalko, will be coming out later this month. Then, starting in May, we will be moving into our official once per month schedule (with occasional bonus episodes).
Our tiny podcasting team is still very excited to be producing Sex on the Brain, but we needed to give ourselves more time each month to focus on our workshops, teaching tours, music, writing, and live sex-positive events likeWhoopee! A Sex-Positive Variety Show.
We look forward to kicking off our second season this month and to continue bringing you sex-positive entertainment and education!
Amory Jane, Sound Engineer Mat, and Intern Courtney
P.S. We are excited to announce a new sponsor for April’s show as well: Portland’s very own Clone-A-Willy! Want to create a replica of your favorite penis or vulva? Try a Clone-A-Willy or Clone-A-Pussy kit in the comfort of your own home! 100% body safe materials, 100% platinum cure silicone, and 100% fun! Use promo code SEXONTHEBRAIN (all one words, caps don’t matter) for 20% off from April 15th-May 22nd at https://cloneawilly.com
Episode 12: A Visit from The Mystery Box Show Reba Sparrow and Eric Scheur from The Mystery Box Show visit the studio and talk with Amory Jane about sex-centric storytelling. We hear how their show began and how it’s evolved, chat about vulnerability, clowns, and “celebrities” as storytellers, and get tips on how to tell our own sex stories well.